What Small Biotech Sponsors Should Look For When Choosing a CRO

A decision maker at a small biotech company contemplates what CRO to choose for their clinical trial.
A decision maker at a small biotech company contemplates what CRO to choose for their clinical trial.

With the increasing availability of advanced technology, more and more pharmaceutical companies are turning to contract research organizations (CROs) to maximize their clinical development outcomes. The market for CROs was estimated to account for nearly 53.9 billion USD in 2021. By 2028, this value is expected to grow by nearly 7%. This significant shift towards outsourced clinical trial oversight emphasizes the importance for smaller biotech sponsors to consider the following elements when choosing a CRO.

Understanding Contract Research Organizations (CROs)

CROs are third-party companies that provide services and resources to support pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or medical device organizations in their research. In the case of clinical trials, a sponsor company will often outsource the oversight of a clinical study and its day-to-day management to a CRO. Given the complexity of clinical studies, these activities can otherwise be too expensive to carry out in-house and take away from their focus on developing new interventions.

Find a CRO With Experience

When considering which CRO to choose, a major factor is whether they have previous experience managing studies and clients similar to your company and project. Depending on the indication, type of intervention, and support you require, partnering with the best-suited CRO is essential for achieving shorter project timelines without sacrificing data integrity or quality. Biopharma organizations which are new to the world of clinical trial development can especially benefit from the targeted experience of CROs like Vial, with a proven track record of success.

Choose a CRO With Expertise

Niche CRO teams which can leverage their years of industry and clinical research experience can especially be valuable to sponsors for their ability to provide in-depth expertise on specific therapeutic areas or challenges. Furthermore, the comparatively lower turnover rates in smaller CROs reduce the chances of trial delays due to unexpected disruptions or dissatisfactions.

The Right CRO Should Have Excellent Customer Service

Another consideration when aiming for a successful clinical trial is the compatibility between your company and your chosen CRO. The right CRO will take their time to research and understand how to best support your project without expecting your organization to conform to its system. One key advantage of smaller CROs in this respect is the undivided attention they can provide for your clinical trial. Your project is important to your company, and the organization you partner with should have the capacity to devote adequate time and resources to ensure its success.

Seek Out a Technology- Enabled CRO

Today’s clinical trials are most effectively managed with the implementation of digital-based technologies. Many CROs have developed their tools to deliver the best strategies for improving trial performance. One such example of a forward-thinking CRO is Vial; their clinical trial management system (CTMS), VialConnect, is a valuable product that can help small sponsors optimize study oversight using an organized cross-platform system. Emerging companies should seek out a CRO with strong technological capabilities that can optimally deliver quality data and management oversight. With rapid advances being made in the biopharma industry, the right CRO will have the necessary knowledge to be able to adapt to an evolving global research landscape.

Ensure the CRO Produces Quality Trial Results

It is important to assess the quality of work a CRO has delivered to their previous clients before choosing to partner with them. The successful completion of a clinical trial is largely dependent on the ability to deliver consistent quality assurance. Not only will their relevant experience enable a CRO to develop solutions tailored to your specific project, but a well-developed quality management system will ensure careful monitoring of clinical research site practices within your study.

Understand the CRO’S Pricing Model

Lastly, the most important factor when choosing a CRO is pricing. Sponsors should review bids from multiple CROs, consider the services included, and explore contracting options best for you. A fixed-fee pricing model is a great option to help small biopharma companies, wherein a client can set an exact project budget. Unlike change orders or a time-and-materials structure model, fixed-fee pricing is resistant to cost increases as a trial is conducted. The latter helps keep sponsors on budget, offering transparency and reduced client exposure or risk in the face of unanticipated delays.

Finding the Right CRO for Your Trial

Overall, small sponsors have many qualities and characteristics to consider when researching the right CRO to hire for their clinical trial management. From their expertise and compatibility to the right tools and prices, emerging biopharma institutions will want to ensure the CRO they partner with ultimately places the same value on their clinical trial that they do. Vial is an established CRO with the right resources and experiences to help your organization reach its potential. Contact us to learn more about how we can support your next project!

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